Sunday, October 19, 2014

Obamacare Schadenfreude Cleanup

That section of the bit freezer devoted to Obamacare Schadenfeude has continued fill up and is starting to bulge a little. I think I'll use this slow Sunday morning as an opportunity to clean it out.

How Much Will Obamacare Cost? Bet on 'More Than Expected'
Back in 2009, it was really important to President Obama that people understand he would not "sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits—either now or in the future. Period." He sold the plan as costing about $938 billion in its first decade of operation (2010 through 2019) but saving about $143 billion overall because of the various taxes and other revenue it raised. A 2012 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report figured that Obamacare would shave $109 billion off the deficit between 2013 and 2022.

This past June, however, the CBO said it will no longer try to estimate the law's effects on the deficit. There have been too many delays, postponements, modifications, you name it, to the original bill. "Isolating the incremental effects of those provisions on previously existing programs and revenues four years after enactment of the Affordable Care Act is not possible," the CBO concluded.
. . .
Official figures show that local, state, and federal governments will spend a record-high 46 percent of all health-care dollars this year and the percentage is expected to grow over the next decade, to 48 percent.

The New York Times reports that by 2023, all spending on health care will equal 19.3 percent of GDP, which is "two percentage points more than last year." So whether it's through taxes, increased premiums, or out-of-pocket costs, we'll be paying more for health care in the coming years.

If that's disappointing, it's not exactly surprising. Government-run health-care programs have a track record of costing more than advertised.
Getting ready for the next round of takeovers: Obamacare Kills 22,000 Health Plans In Colorado
Over 22,000 Coloradoans have had their health insurance canceled by Obamacare in the past month — and 200,000 are slated to be shut down in 2015, the state insurance department announced Friday.

The Colorado Division of Insurance wrote to state Senate Republicans Friday, notifying them that five more insurance carriers have ended plans for 18,783 more Coloradoans in just the last month. By far, the most canceled plans will come from Humana Insurance Company and Humana Health Plan.

That brings the state’s Obamacare total to almost 340,000 canceled plans, according to Republican Rep. Cory Gardner, who’s in a tight race for Senate with incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Udall.
ObamaCare Bronze Plan Premiums To Jump 14% In 2015
ObamaCare shoppers in search of the lowest-cost plan may come down with a mild case of rate shock when 2015 exchange enrollment begins next month.

An examination of next year's rates in the biggest city in 15 states and Washington, D.C., reveals that the cost of the cheapest bronze plan will jump an average of 13.9% for 40-year-old non-smokers earning 225% of the poverty level ($26,260).

In Seattle, the cost of the cheapest bronze plan, after subsidies, will soar 64%, from $60 to $98 per month, for individuals at this income level. Some other cities seeing notable gains include Providence (up 38%, from $72 to $99 per month); Los Angeles (up 27%, from $88 to $111); Las Vegas (up 22%, from $100 to $122); and New York (up 18%, from $97 to $114).

The surge in the cost of the cheapest subsidized bronze policy could negatively impact enrollment in 2015. This year, 39% of bronze plan choosers picked the lowest-price option. One might expect that share to rise in 2015, when millions of people who passed on ObamaCare exchanges this year are expected to enroll.

While some potential enrollees may opt out because of the higher cost of bronze, some young adults may instead pick catastrophic plans available to those under 30. The latter scenario is also not great news for ObamaCare exchanges, since catastrophic plan members are grouped separately, leaving the main risk pool relatively older and more costly.
Well, it was never meant to be cheap to the public at large, just to the democratic voters in the underclass.

Why doctors give Obamacare a failing grade
The Physicians Foundation made shockwaves last month when it released its 2014 Survey of America’s Physicians. The survey’s top-line finding: Of the 20,000 doctors surveyed, almost 50 percent stated that Obamacare deserves either a “D” or an “F.” Only a quarter of physicians graded it as either an “A” or a “B.”

Count me among the discontented. Obamacare has harmed too many of my patients.

It has done so by disrupting the doctor-patient relationship and thereby worsening the quality of patients’ care. This is the heart and soul of medicine, as I have learned in in my 33 years as a practicing physician. The doctor-patient relationship is critical for positive health outcomes because it allows both parties to work together to identify and ultimately treat medical problems. Simply put, a relationship of trust and continuity is essential to our professional mission.

Obamacare’s assault on the doctor-patient relationship first manifested this time last year, when my patients began receiving cancellation letters indicating that their plans didn’t meet the law’s minimum requirements. . . 
It was written by lawyers, not doctors.

Unable to Meet the Deductible or the Doctor
Patricia Wanderlich got insurance through the Affordable Care Act this year, and with good reason: She suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2011, spending weeks in a hospital intensive care unit, and has a second, smaller aneurysm that needs monitoring.

But her new plan has a $6,000 annual deductible, meaning that Ms. Wanderlich, who works part time at a landscaping company outside Chicago, has to pay for most of her medical services up to that amount. She is skipping this year’s brain scan and hoping for the best.

“To spend thousands of dollars just making sure it hasn’t grown?” said Ms. Wanderlich, 61. “I don’t have that money.”

About 7.3 million Americans are enrolled in private coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, and more than 80 percent qualified for federal subsidies to help with the cost of their monthly premiums. But many are still on the hook for deductibles that can top $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for families — the trade-off, insurers say, for keeping premiums for the marketplace plans relatively low. The result is that some people — no firm data exists on how many — say they hesitate to use their new insurance because of the high out-of-pocket costs.
While I'm generally in favor of high deductible, low premium insurance, Obamacare has found the rotten spot, high deductible, high premium care, unless you qualify for the subsidies.  That was always the plan. To get as many people on subsidies as possible. Unfortunately, you don't need a working brain to vote democrat.

And now, here in Maryland, home of the first or second worst Obamacare website, news that the state plans on continuing to hide the expense until after, you guessed it, the midterm, and in Maryland, gubernatorial, election: Maryland postpones effort to recover millions on failed healthcare web site… right before the election
Of all the state health insurance exchanges which were rolled out in conjunction with Obamacare, Maryland’s was certainly in contention for the biggest disaster of the bunch. Warned for an entire year before launch of the impending disaster, the state plugged on forward anyway. The point person on the project was Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, who eventually abandoned the entire effort and firing the developer, Noridian Healthcare Solutions, in April of this year. It seemed that no amount of money or effort was going to bring the site back from the grave and they decided to start over from scratch with a new contractor.

It was also clear that the state would need to take legal action to recoup the many millions of dollars they had flushed into the site. Oddly, though, even with that much of the taxpayers’ money on the line, that action suddenly ceased this week.
Officials from Maryland’s health care exchange in April fired the contractor, Noridian Healthcare Solutions, and vowed to seek court actions to recoup the money.
Both sides have struck a temporary deal so state officials can focus on the second year of ObamaCare enrollment that starts Nov. 15, according to The Baltimore Sun.
A spokeswoman for Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley told The Sun that officials are still “evaluating claims that we may pursue in litigation.”
If that date of November 15th sounds familiar, it’s the same day that you’ll be able to find out what your new Obamacare premiums will be. It’s also, by complete coincidence I’m sure, after the election. So why should Maryland care so much about that? The candidate for Governor is none other than the aforementioned Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.
Much better, room for another five or six.

No comments:

Post a Comment